Poor posture will strain your muscles and ligaments, which will cause you pain. By learning to hold yourself properly, you can reduce your muscle pain and the risk of injury. By standing up instead of sitting down, you could even burn up to 50 calories per hour, which equates to about 30,000 calories after a year. However, standing requires good posture and toned muscles. Once you've perfected it, you can try standing while you work.
Method 1 of 3: Perfect your posture
Step 1. Start with your feet
They should be spread so that they line up under your hips. If they are crossed, uncross them and try to keep them aligned with your hips.
- By keeping one foot slightly in front of the other, you can relieve some of the pressure on your lower back muscles.
- Keep your feet pointed forward, not to the sides.
Step 2. Shift your body weight to the front of your feet
If your weight is on the outside of your feet, you have pronated feet. If your weight is carried on the inside of the feet, you have supine feet.
- Pronation and supination are common problems. However, they can cause ankle, leg, hip, and back problems in the future.
- If you find it very difficult to shift your weight to the front of your feet, you can consult a podiatrist who will advise you on orthopedic insoles. They will help you correct your posture.
Step 3. Don't pinch your knees
They should always present a very slight, almost invisible curve. If you block them, you will increase the pressure on your joints.
Step 4. Adjust the curve of your spine
Your lower back should have a slight curve. Some people have an exaggerated curve in the spine called “hyperlordosis,” often caused by weak core muscles or excessive load on the abdomen.
- Some people might stand with their pelvis tucked in too much, which will straighten the curve of the spine instead of keeping it straight. This will make the back straight and it is an unhealthy position. It could occur after long periods of sitting or because of stiffness in the core muscles.
- If you have back pain, try contracting your stomach muscles a bit. Imagine that you are wearing a corset that pulls your stomach muscles inward and upward. This will support your back. Do not tilt your pelvis, use your abdominal muscles to support your body.
- It will take some time for you to develop the muscles necessary for good posture in your legs, stomach, back and shoulders. Continue to exercise for several months to relieve your pain.
Step 5. Shrug and drop your arms
Your arms should drop to their sides without applying tension to them. If your shoulders are up to your ears, make an effort to let them drop.
Step 6. Check to see if your shoulders are round
Sometimes people stand with a rounded shoulder, which causes pain in that area and in the neck. You can easily check if this is your case by standing in front of a mirror. Drop your arms down to your sides naturally. If your knuckles are facing forward, your shoulders might be more rounded than they should be.
Bring your shoulders back a little to counter the rounding of your shoulders. You can improve the balance of your muscles and reduce the rounding of your shoulders by strengthening your upper back and core muscles
Step 7. Bring your shoulder blades 2 inches apart
People who work on a computer can easily slump on it. Practice bringing your shoulder blades together to counter the effects of computer work.
Don't overdo it by pulling your shoulder blades too far back. This could create a pivotal effect on your lower back which will cause you pain
Step 8. Keep your head straight
Try to avoid leaning forward. If your head is tilting forward or down, you need to bring it back to an upright position so that the chin remains parallel to the floor. Also, make sure it doesn't tilt to one side or the other. Keep the earlobes parallel to your shoulders.
- Make sure you don't overdo it by lifting your head too much. Your eyes should be looking straight ahead and not at the ceiling or the floor.
- Imagine that there is a string attached to the top of your head that pulls you towards the ceiling. Your neck and head should be kept straight.
Step 9. Check your posture using a wall
Your spine has three natural curves that create spaces when you lean with your back against a wall while standing correctly.
- Stand against a vertical wall, keeping your heels two to four inches from the wall. Make sure the back of your head, shoulder blades, and butt are touching the wall.
- The back of the head should touch the wall because of the cervical curve.
- The back of the top of your shoulders will touch it because of the chest curve.
- Your butt will touch it because of the lumbar curve.
- You should be able to slide your hand between the wall and the curve in your lower back. If you can't, your back is probably too stiff. If the space is thicker than your hand, squeeze your abdominal muscles to stretch your back until it touches your hand.
- If you are touching the wall in other areas of your back, adjust your standing position so that only these three points are in contact with the surface.
Method 2 of 3: Exercise for better posture
Step 1. Walk for a few minutes to stretch your muscles
This is all the more important after a day of sitting.
If you can do regular stretching exercises like yoga, it might improve your muscle flexibility and posture
Step 2. Balance on one leg in front of a mirror
Try to keep your body completely straight instead of leaning to one side.
Hold this position for thirty seconds, then repeat on the other side
Step 3. Work on improving your balance
Better balance improves your strength and posture. It will also reduce the risk of injury.
- Stand on one foot and bring the other foot behind you about 10 cm. Bring it forward, keeping it aligned with your hip during the movement. Repeat ten to fifteen times on both sides.
- Stand on one foot. Lift one of your legs out to the side and hold the position for one to five seconds. Then lower your leg. Repeat ten to fifteen times on both sides.
Step 4. Bend against a wall
Bending against a wall can help you firm up the muscles in your buttocks so that you can hold yourself up properly. Stand with your back to a wall. Your feet should be aligned under your hips with your toes pointing slightly outward.
- Let your back slide down and bend your knees. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, slowly work your way up the wall.
- Repeat ten to twenty times.
- You can place an exercise ball between the wall and your lower back to help keep your balance at first.
- When you feel stronger, try doing the same exercise with a chair instead of the wall. Lower yourself without helping yourself from the wall. Once your butt is almost touching the chair, straighten your legs.
Step 5. Use a broomstick or foam roller
Place it in front of you, slightly to the right, then put your hand on it to improve your stability. Lean forward and lift your right leg, trying to keep your body aligned the entire time.
- Repeat on the opposite side, taking ten seconds to complete the exercise.
- As you get stronger, your core should end up perpendicular to the leg you're standing on.
Step 6. Avoid exercises that make you bend over at the waist
Bending over at the waist is bad for your posture, and you could also injure yourself if you have osteoporosis.
You should avoid exercises where you will touch your toes with your fingers and abs unless you are doing them under the supervision of a physical therapist or doctor
Step 7. Make planks
Plank exercises are great for strengthening core muscles. If you don't have strong core muscles, it will be very difficult for your body to hold properly, and you may use some muscles too often and others less often. Plank exercises can help you correct an excessive curve in your lower back, a flat back, misaligned hips, or rounded shoulders.
- Lie on your stomach. Raise your body so that your weight is transferred to your toes and forearms.
- Press the palms of your hands together and keep your forearms anchored to the floor. Line up your shoulders so that they are directly above your elbows. Look on the floor with your head in a neutral position.
- Contract the abdominal muscles so that your body forms a straight line from head to toe.
- Make sure your lower back does not curve or arch while you do the plank.
Step 8. Do side leg raises
These exercises help you correct poor posture and strengthen your buttocks and lower back muscles. If your muscles are weak, you could have a bad curve in your spine.
- Lie on one of your sides. Raise your head together with one of your arms. Bend the knee that is on the floor at a 90 degree angle. Keep your hips parallel without pushing too much forward or back.
- Contract your abs and keep them as tight as possible for the duration of the exercise.
- While keeping the upper leg straight, lift it as high as possible without leaning your hips back. You should feel your buttocks muscles tighten as you lift your leg.
- Then slowly lower it back to the ground. Repeat eight to ten times, then switch sides.
Step 9. Do back extensions
Weakened back muscles can lead to a flat back and rounded shoulders. Back extensions can help you strengthen these muscles and put them in the correct position. The cobra pose in yoga practice can also help you strengthen these muscles.
- Lie on your stomach. Bend your elbows and bring your arms to the side, resting your head on your hands.
- Using your forearms, press your upper body against the floor. Keep your shoulders, back, and neck straight as you lean back. Don't bend your neck back, keep it aligned with your spine.
- Inhale and feel the muscles in your abdomen tighten slightly. Hold your breath for five seconds, then slowly return to the floor.
Method 3 of 3: Stand upright at work
Step 1. Practice good posture
Standing for long periods of time can have the same effects as sitting for long periods. If your muscles are weak, such as your stomach and buttocks, your other muscles are strengthening. There must be a balance between your different muscles.
- Avoid leaning on one leg. Shifting your weight from one leg to the other is not good for your posture. If your butt and core muscles are weak, you tend to shift more of your weight onto one leg to use your lower back and hips for balance.
- Distribute your weight evenly across both legs. If your butt and core muscles are weak, do exercises to tone them, such as planks, leg raises, or bridge posture.
- You can also tighten the muscles in your buttocks while standing to make sure they don't weaken. Repeat several times a day.
Step 2. Alternate between sitting and standing
If possible, change positions every half hour to get the most benefit. Standing all day could be bad for your health, just as it is if you are sitting still, as your joints will be supporting you the whole time.
Ideally, you should find a standing workstation that you can use to work while sitting or standing
Step 3. Try to find a height adjustable desk
There are entry-level models of desks that start at $ 200 and full models that start at $ 900.
- Do-it-yourselfers could even make height-adjustable desks themselves. You could even create a more ergonomic workstation by installing your monitor, keyboard, or other work tools in an elevated position.
- On your sit / stand desk, the screen should be 50cm to 70cm away from your eyes and allow you to rest your elbows at a 90 degree angle.
- You can also use a stool for your feet to relieve some of the pressure on your back. Stand with one leg slightly bent and the other resting on the small stool. Remember to change legs every fifteen to twenty minutes.
Step 4. Purchase a padded rug to put under your feet
A small gel mat works great to give your feet more support.
Step 5. Wear shoes that support your body
Do not stand at work in high heels or flat-soled shoes without arch support. Add insoles that support the arch if you don't already have one.
Step 6. Start with short ten minute periods
As your muscles grow, you can lengthen these periods. If you stand for too long, you could cause back pain.
Step 7. Learn to alternate between sitting and standing
It might be beneficial to get up to answer emails, make calls, or do some research, as these are activities that shouldn't take you longer than half an hour. Typing and activities that require precise gestures should instead be done while seated.
Step 8. Walk instead of standing if that is not possible
If you don't have access to an adjustable desk, get up and stretch your legs every half hour to make sure you're moving and stretching your muscles.